2019 Riga Masters
The 2019 Riga Masters (also known as the 2019 Kaspersky Riga Masters due to sponsorship) was a professional ranking snooker tournament held from 26 to 28 July 2019 at the Arēna Rīga in Riga, Latvia. It was the sixth Riga Masters event, with the first being held in 2013, and the first ranking event of the 2019/2020 snooker season. The defending champion, Neil Robertson, previously defeated Jack Lisowski in the 2018 final. However, Robertson and several other players were forced to withdraw from qualifying round matches due to flight cancellations, and therefore could not compete in the event.
|Dates||26–28 July 2019|
|Total prize fund||£278,000|
|Highest break||Jack Lisowski (ENG) (145)|
|Champion||Yan Bingtao (CHN)|
|Runner-up||Mark Joyce (ENG)|
Yan Bingtao defeated Mark Joyce 5–2 in the final, winning the event and earning his first career ranking title. Yan became the first player born after 2000 to win a ranking event, as well as the first teenager to win a ranking event in 13 years since Ding Junhui won the 2006 Northern Ireland Trophy aged 19. No players from the top 20 in the world reached the quarter-finals. Lisowski scored the highest break of the tournament, a 145. The event had a total prize fund of £278,000 with the winner receiving £50,000. Qualifying for the event was held between 10 and 13 June 2019 at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield, England.
The tournament was played from 26 to 28 July 2019 at the Arēna Rīga in Riga, Latvia. The event was organised by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, and sponsored by Kaspersky Lab. Matches were played as best-of-seven until the semi-finals, which were best-of-nine frames. The quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final were all played on 28 July. The event was broadcast on Eurosport Player (Pan-Europe); NowTV (Hong Kong); Truesport Thailand; and Superstars Online, Youku, and Zhibo.tv (China).
- Winner: £50,000
- Runner-up: £25,000
- Semi-final: £15,000
- Quarter-final: £6,000
- Last 16: £4,000
- Last 32: £3,000
- Last 64: £2,000
- Highest break: £5,000
- Total: £278,000
The round-of-64 began on 26 July 2019 in Riga, Latvia. Due to flight complications, many players missed the event and had to withdraw, including two-time and defending champion Neil Robertson, Kyren Wilson, and Joe O'Connor. World Snooker commented that due to the number of players missing their matches, it would be difficult to reschedule the affected matches. The held-over qualifying match between Robertson and Robert Milkins was not held as both players were unable to compete in the event the event, which gave Ben Woollaston a bye into the last 64. Milkins and Robertson made Twitter comments on their encounter, as penalty frames were awarded to each player for not appearing in the match.
Three-time world champion Mark Williams defeated James Cahill 4–3, but Williams did not realise he could score a century break, after turning down the final . Mark Selby received two byes before facing Graeme Dott in the second round. Dott won the first three frames of the match, but Selby won the final four to progress. In the round of 16, Selby lost to Stuart Carrington. The 2018 runner-up Jack Lisowski reached the round of 16, before losing to Mark Joyce.
After the round-of-16, no player qualifying for the quarter-finals was ranked in the top 20 in the world. With a ranking of 21, Yan Bingtao was the highest ranked player in the quarter-finals. The quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals were all played on 28 July. In the quarter-finals, Joyce, who was world rank 54, defeated Carrington 4–1 to advance to the semi-finals, marking his best performance in a ranking event. After defeating Lyu Haotian and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in previous rounds, Kurt Maflin defeated Luo Honghao 4–1, reaching his third career semi-final. Matthew Selt defeated Mark King 4–1 to reach the semi-final. Selt was the only remaining player who had previously won a ranking event (the 2019 Indian Open). Yan defeated Li Hang 4–3 to reach the semi-finals for the first time since the 2017 Northern Ireland Open.
In the first semi-final, Joyce and Maflin exchanged frames throughout the match, with each player alternately winning each frame to tie at 4–4. After Maflin missed a , Joyce made a match-high break of 126 to win 5–4. In the second semi-final, Yan defeated Selt 5–3. Neither player made a century break. However, Yan scored a match-high break of 88 to win.
The final between Yan and Joyce was played at 7 p.m. GMT and refereed by Tatiana Woollaston. It was Joyce's first final, and neither player had previously won a ranking event. In the first frame, Yan required a snooker and the cue ball behind the black, forcing Joyce to hit the blue ball instead of the brown, awarding Yan enough penalty points to be able to win the frame. Yan to win the first frame. Yan won the second frame to lead 2–0, but Joyce won the third with a century break. Yan won three of the next four frames, with breaks of higher than 50. He defeated Joyce 5–2, winning the event and earning his first career ranking title. Yan became the first player born after 2000 to win a ranking event, as well as the first teenager to win a ranking event in 13 years since Ding Junhui won the 2006 Northern Ireland Trophy at age 19.
The main draw for the tournament featured 64 players. Certain players had to withdraw from the competition due to flight difficulties, and are denoted below with a bye to their opponent. A w/d indicates a withdrawn player, whilst a w/o indicates a walkover. Players listed in bold denote match winners.
|Final: Best of 9 frames. Referee: Tatiana Woollaston.|
Arēna Rīga, Riga, Latvia, 28 July 2019.
|58–57, 104–0, 0–133 (103), 83–5 (53), 17–62, 80–17 (65), 71–45 (66)|
Qualifying matches were held between 10 and 13 June 2019 at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield, England. Matches involving Neil Robertson, Kishan Hirani, Mark Selby, Duane Jones, and Mark Williams, were planned to be played in Riga. All matches were best-of-seven frames.
Televised stage centuriesEdit
A total of 19 centuries were made during the event. Jack Lisowski scored a 145, the highest break of the event.
- 145, 140, 119 Jack Lisowski
- 143 Graeme Dott
- 137 Liam Highfield
- 137 Mark Williams
- 127 Daniel Wells
- 126, 112, 109, 103 Mark Joyce
- 120 Mei Xiwen
- 112 Kurt Maflin
- 110 Gary Wilson
- 109, 104 Tom Ford
- 106 Ricky Walden
- 106 Rod Lawler
- 101 Yan Bingtao
Qualifying stage centuriesEdit
During the pre-tournament qualification round, 23 centuries were made. Dominic Dale scores the highest of these, with a break of 141.
- 141 Dominic Dale
- 138 Lu Ning
- 136 Yuan Sijun
- 132, 112 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
- 131 David Grace
- 131 Oliver Lines
- 131 Ricky Walden
- 129 Anthony Hamilton
- 128, 109 Alan McManus
- 125 Michael Holt
- 124 Scott Donaldson
- 120, 101 Jamie O'Neill
- 119 Mei Xiwen
- 112 Jackson Page
- 112 Qingtian Yang
- 109 Chris Wakelin
- 109 Riley Parsons
- 105 Kurt Maflin
- 103 Joe O'Connor
- 101 Ian Burns
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